Acadia National Park Encourages Public Comment on Environmental Assessment Proposal To Improve the Ecological Health of the Great Meadow
April 24th, 2023
April 24th, 2023
BAR HARBOR, MAINE – The National Park Service (NPS) encourages public comment on an Environmental Assessment (EA) about a proposal to improve the ecological health of the Great Meadow in Bar Harbor, Maine, by restoring natural function to the wetland and Cromwell Brook. The Great Meadow Restoration Project proposes to:
The park prepared the EA to evaluate potential impacts and determine if the park should change restoration practices. The EA examines two alternatives. In Alternative A (no action), park would continue to enforce the existing management conditions, visitor access, and visitor use at Great Meadow and the surrounding project area. Alternative B (proposed action) would allow for:
Additional proposal details include:
In the early 20th century, early site stewards manipulated the Great Meadow and Sieur de Monts Springs areas to allow for the construction of roads, trails, and buildings. Scientific monitoring of this area suggests that these changes to the landscape negatively affected the wetland’s function.
The no action alternative would add a substantial adverse impact on vegetation, wildlife, and cultural landscapes within the wetland.
The proposed action promotes ecological resilience and reduces long-term operating and maintenance costs to historic properties.
The proposal addresses the following park issues:
Trail improvements would remove pedestrians from vehicle travel lanes. This is key to visitor safety, especially as visitation continues to increase.
With a reduction in flooding and thus a reduction in the need for emergency repairs along trails and roads, park staff can devote their time to other preservation needs.
Nonnative plants pose a significant threat to natural resources throughout the park. By expanding invasive species mitigation and increasing the planting of native plants, the park will improve the health of the Great Meadow wetland.
If this proposal is approved, the benefits to NPS staff, partners and visitors would include:
Comments must be received by May 23, 2023, 11:59 p.m. Mountain Time. Comments may be submitted online at: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/GreatMeadow or by mail. Mail comments to:
Acadia National Park
Attn: Great Meadow Restoration Project EA Comments
PO Box 177
Bar Harbor, ME, 04609
Following the comment period, the park will make a final decision about the proposal. A final decision is expected in late Spring.
Public Comment Considerations
In addition to NHPA, the park is also completing compliance that includes the Endangered Species Act, and other applicable laws and policies for this project.